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The Pentagon. (Photo courtesy Flickr user David B. Gleason / cc2.0)

Cloud companies lining up to bid on a ten-year cloud contract for the U.S. Department of Defense will have to wait a little bit longer to learn exactly what the government is looking for in a cloud vendor.

A Pentagon representative announced Thursday that it due to the intense interest surrounding the deal, it isn’t ready to release the detailed requirements around its cloud computing needs, as was expected by the end of this month, according to Bloomberg and CRN. The request for proposals won’t go out until later because “it’s important that we don’t rush toward failure,” according to a Pentagon representative, in what is probably a solid position for a military organization to take.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project will still be awarded to a single cloud vendor, the Pentagon said Thursday, which isn’t welcome news to smaller cloud vendors. The initial two-year contract is still expected to be awarded in September, and the winner could have options to provide as many as ten years of cloud services to the government worth billions of dollars.

Computing requirements across an organization as massive as the Department of Defense are bound to be complex, but like many things involving the current administration, the process for this contract has been a little weird. The insistence on a single vendor has been puzzling to many companies involved in these discussions, not just because that appears to favor market leader Amazon Web Services but also because more and more companies are starting to embrace multicloud architectures to avoid putting all their eggs in one basket.

And while AWS, Microsoft, and other cloud companies are quite interested in this huge deal, Google has found itself in a tough spot over its Project Maven work, caught between the enormous boost the JEDI contact would provide for its cloud business and the uprising of employees who do not want their employer to do more business with the military.

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